Creativity is a complex phenomenon, one that many of us misunderstand and underappreciate. Far too often, creativity is viewed as little more than an indulgence or a mere pastime. In fact, creativity is an excellent way to give your brain a workout and to improve your general attitude and wellbeing. There are a number of reasons why you should view creativity as an effective way of boosting your energy and mood while developing existing skills and talents. In this article, we take a look at some of the most compelling reasons to engage your creative side.
Improve Your Mood
Being creative requires that we engage many different areas of our brain at the same time. We often don’t realize just how complex many of the things that we do every day are when viewed in terms of the effect on our brains. Creative pursuits require more than imagination; they require us to coordinate the different systems in our brains to formulate ideas and to establish links between seemingly disparate concepts.
As we work on creative pastimes, we develop related skills and talents. For example, an artist regularly practices their skills at drawing and painting while the musician improves not only their ability to play an instrument but also their ability to detect different sounds and notes. As we become aware of our abilities improving, we experience a corresponding boost in mood, which is mediated by the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters. In this way developing our creative skills contributes to an overall improvement in our moods.
The process of creativity is often misunderstood. It is more than just practicing the relevant skills. When we turn our attention to creative endeavors, we encourage ourselves to think about things in new ways. While we often fail to appreciate the connection, thinking and approaching tasks creatively requires that we think about problems in different ways and so without even being aware of it, we are developing problem-solving skills.
In addition, while we are engaged in creative thinking, we keep our minds occupied and free up our subconscious to work in new and interesting ways. There is an increasing number of studies which show that engaging in a certain amount of creativity each day results in a noticeable improvement in our problem-solving abilities.
When we engage in creative tasks that lie outside our comfort zone, we further encourage ourselves to think in new ways. For example, perhaps you are a keen artist but have little experience with writing. You could use the online Rage Faces tool to produce a webcomic where the graphics are already provided for you, forcing you to focus on the writing.
We are all, whether we realize it or not, capable of a great many things. Too often, we limit our view of ourselves to the tasks that we complete professionally and don’t consider the skills that, while seemingly mundane and unremarkable, we use every day. Creative pursuits give us an opportunity to synthesize our existing skillsets so that we can accomplish things we might not have previously realized we were capable of.
Indulging your creative desires is an excellent way to give your brain a workout, to build existing skills, and to develop entirely new ones.